Division of Insurance works with national organization to launch "Life Insurance Policy Locator Tool"
Adds to work that has already brought over $143 million to Colorado life insurance beneficiaries.
DENVER (December 12, 2016) – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently unveiled a national service that helps consumers find unclaimed life insurance benefits. The NAIC’s Life Insurance Policy Locator provides nationwide assistance in finding a deceased person’s life insurance policies and annuities. In the U.S., an estimated $1 billion in benefits from life insurance policies are unclaimed, according to Consumer Reports.
Using the Life Insurance Policy Locator, consumer requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. Participating insurers will compare submitted requests with available policyholder information and report all matches to state insurance departments through the Locator. Companies will then contact beneficiaries or their authorized representatives.
This new tool adds to the DOI’s efforts with the NAIC regarding over $143 million in unclaimed life insurance benefits for Coloradans. Since 2011, the DOI, which is part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has participated in the settlements facilitated by the NAIC’s Life and Annuity Claims Settlement Practices Task Force, which has been conducting multi-state audits of the top 40 life insurance groups (based on national market share).
These audits found that many insurers made minimal efforts to locate beneficiaries for unpaid death benefits from life insurance policies. As part of the regulatory settlements that have occurred after the audits, each insurer has agreed to conduct more thorough searches for beneficiaries (attempting contact by direct mail, email, and telephone, as well as using online search tools), to determine if life insurance benefits are owed, and if so, pay them to the appropriate beneficiaries.
To date, 23 audits have resulted in returning more than $6.75 billion life insurance proceeds to U.S. consumers. Here in Colorado, insurers have paid $143,750,390 in death benefits to Colorado beneficiaries, and another $2.86 million in penalties.
The new online Life Insurance Policy locator is now expected help consumers find lost life insurance policies faster and easier than before.
“The DOI has been working to help beneficiaries for years,” said Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar. “People don’t know where to begin, but the new locator will streamline and simplify the process for consumers searching for a lost life insurance policy.”
Insurance companies have 90 days to research inquiries. Nearly 500 companies are expected to participate, with more likely to come on board in the coming year for the convenience of a single, nationwide system.
If you think there is a lost life insurance or annuity in your family, why not check the Policy Locator at locator.naic.org?
The DOI is a consumer resource where insurance experts can answer your insurance questions and provide easy-to-understand information. Call 303-894-7490 or 800-930-3745 (outside the Denver metro area) or visit AskDORA.colorado.gov.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.